Turkish foreign minister sends letter to UN, EU on East Mediterranean dispute with Cyprus

Turkey's foreign minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu wrote a letter to United Nations Security Council permanent member states and European Union (EU) member states’ foreign ministers on a recent dispute with Greek Cyprus, Turkish state-run Anadolu Agency reported on Friday.

Turkey is in a bitter dispute with Greece and Cyprus over rights to drill for hydrocarbons around the island. Turkey's recent decision to send the "Fatih" drilling ship to drill in areas that that overlap with the Greek Cypriots' Exclusive Economic Zone has escalated the tensions and was denounced by the United States and the EU.

Çavuşoğlu said the EU's support for Greek Cypriots under the guise of membership solidarity conflicts with international law, according to Anadolu Agency.

"In the letter, Çavuşoğlu underscored that Turkey had stated its position on the East Mediterranean at the UN since 2004. He also pointed out that Turkey would not accept unilateral EEZ (exclusive economic zone) claims of Greek Cypriots," the news agency said.

Referring to the statements from EU representatives and the United States, the Turkish foreign minister said third parties should not take sides in disputes over maritime jurisdictions.

Ankara claims control of territorial waters which overlap with areas claimed by Cyprus, and also supports the territorial rights of the breakaway Turkish Cypriot State in the northern part of the island, which is only recognised by Turkey.

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